Sunday, July 27, 2014

Post tour thoughts and chit-chat

Well...it's in the history books now. It's all over but for the crying (both good and bad).

THE GOOD (and there was a lot!):

Jens.
Chris Horner coming back for more if he gets a team.
TWO Frenchmen on the podium.
Valverde NOT making the podium.
TJ jumping up to 5th overall (I'm warming to him slightly...maybe next year he'll grow on me). PLEASE lose the "Uhm and Uh" from your vocabulary and I'll do my best to root for you!.
Jens.
Team Sky (the Yankees of pro cycling...the team w/ the largest payroll) getting zippo after leaving Wiggens HOME and losing their man to crashes. Still smiling at that one. Not a huge fan of Wiggo, but boy did they stick it to him, and did he get the ULTIMATE "TOLD YOU SO"!
Sagan winning the Green jersey (for the 3rd year in a row).He's quite a character and a great bike-handler. Also he apologized to the peleton saying HE caused the Stage 19 finishing crash.
The Panel. LOVED this years panel (both). P&P for most of the call, yet having Todd, Bobke and CVV in the beginning/end and off and on throughout...that was flat out the best overall panel(s) that I can recall. I like P&P but it's also nice to get a break from them, and also they did  a fair amount of cutting over to the threesome over and over during the live broadcast....sharing the air-time. GREAT JOB to NBC Sports on this!
Jens.
Stages in the UK...watching snippets of the first 3 stages today. THE CROWDS still blows my mind. The first 2 stages were out in the middle of nowhere essentially (as compared to down near London)....yet the people drove and walked a LONG ways to get out to the side of the road, on the side of a hill, or even just anywhere NEAR where the riders were going  to be...it was just SPECTACULAR!
Bringing in riders at the end of every stage to chat with the panel.
Team Saxo/Tinkoff's kits. Love or hate them, they were easy-peasy to spot in the peleton!
Certainly there's a LOT more, buy my tiny brain is overloaded and can't think of any more right this moment.

THE BAD:

Jens (not coming back)
Not getting the ultimate GC-showdown that it looked like we were going to get.
Deleting stage 21 from my DVR today, knowing there won't be another stage tomorrow.
Vino running a team, let-alone the WINNING team. That just seems wrong.
The rain in those early stages. Sure, it's part of cycling, but this year it altered the dynamic of the race in a way I can't recall happening before.
Losing Cav, Froome, Contador and Talansky (among others) to injuries sustained from crashes.
Jens not coming back.
Not being able to TRULY believe the winner is clean (I'm NOT discussing it, just mentioning it as a thought that was with me throughout...ok, NOW I'm done talking about it! For REAL).
Team Trek. Where were they? It's like they didn't even SHOW UP, except for Fabian, who left early to save himself and train. He must have been pretty disheartened by the state of the team to do that.
July is almost over, summer's end is just around the corner. WOW did July go FAST (again).
Sagan winning the Green Jersey yet not winning a single stage. Somehow that just seems wrong...didn't Kittel win FOUR stages? I recall a few years back Cav won more than that and still didn't win the Green. I think they need to up the points for stage-wins a LOT. Sure, Sagan was in the top 5 a lot, but not winning ONE SINGLE STAGE yet getting the overall Green?
And just like with the 'good', there must be much more 'bad' that I'm just not thinking of right now.

So..what are YOUR thoughts? Let's keep this going for a bit, to help ward off the post-Tour depression that always sets in. Been great having you here...miss the 'old' days when we were a pretty large group.

And finally, JD, GOOD LUCK selling your house...sure hope it goes smooth and fast so you can get on with your life!

Game OVER.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The last of the mountains, and then into Paris!

Well...sadly I'm back.

JD, you said it...climbing on that plane in Hawaii, knowing it's taking me back to WORK is quite depressing. I sure hope it's in my cards to go back to Hawaii and live (again) someday....where EVERY-DAY is a vacation (especially if I can retire there....get a boat and just have FUN every single day). It was a long journey home, even just from Hawaii to Calif...problems with my bus getting from LAX to San Fernando Valley (where my car was parked)...so I didn't finally get home until the wee hours of the morning. But the babies were all quite excited to see me even in the middle of the night, and being as they don't look at a clock it didn't matter what time it was. It's safe to say I had LOTS of company snoozing last night (even though Jeannie is still in Hawaii, she won't be home until Friday). I had planned on working a half day today, but with my late homecoming I've nixed that plan, and instead have a cup of hot steamy joe in my hand as I watch the QUEEN STAGE! Ahhh...no Tour for over a week now...I was in withdrawl! That and the fur-babies are the only good things about coming home from Hawaii.

ANYWAY.

Susie, I'm afraid there will be no Quint in this tour....Nibbles looks pretty much untouchable unless disaster in some form strikes. It wouldn't bother me to see some shark-hunter put a few barrels in him though...but I don't know who that would be. But the rest of the podium, and especially the top 5 slots are NOT EVEN CLOSE to being set in stone. Valverde really needs to watch his back if he hopes to hold onto 2nd. I'm totally rooting for the French guys! As to TJ...well, he cracked yesterday much like I suspected he would all along, and has fallen far away from the podium...and that just doesn't bother me in the slightest. I'm STILL not a fan. Right now it's Purito fighting his way into the Polka Dot jersey that is the drama in progress, and he has his work cut out for him to hold it thru tomorrow.

OK...back to the live coverage (that I've DVR'd so it's no longer 'live', but I'm watching it with no knowledge of how it comes out, so it's live to me). Susie, you're my Hero taking TWO days off to simply watch le Tour! I just don't have that kind of vacation (if I did, I'd have stayed in Hawaii with Jeannie for 2 more days). I need to scrimp my time if I hope to do any backpacking this fall with my brother Greg as we always try to do.

Aloha, and GAME STILL ON!